Opposition to War
An Encyclopedia of U.S. Peace and Antiwar Movements
by Mitchell K. Hall, Editor
January 2018, 846pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4518-5
$208, £160, 181€, A285
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4519-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The United States has averaged one major war for each of its citizens’ generations, not to mention numerous smaller wars and foreign interventions.

How have Americans sought peaceful, rather than destructive, solutions to domestic and world conflict? This two-volume set documents peace and antiwar movements in the United States from the colonial era to the present.

Although national leaders often claim to be fighting to achieve peace, the real peace seekers struggle against enormous resistance to their message and have often faced persecution for their efforts. Despite a well-established pattern of being involved in wars, the United States also has a long tradition of citizens who made extensive efforts to build and maintain peaceful societies and prevent the destructive human and material costs of war. Unarmed activists have most consistently upheld American values at home.

Opposition to War: An Encyclopedia of U.S. Peace and Antiwar Movements investigates this historical tradition of resistance to involvement in armed conflict—an especially important and relevant topic today as the nation has been mired in numerous military conflicts throughout most of the current century. The book examines a largely misunderstood and underappreciated minority of Americans who have committed themselves to finding peaceful resolutions to domestic and international conflicts—individuals who have proposed and conducted an array of practical and creative methods for peaceful change, from the transformation of individual behavior to the development of international governing and legal systems, for more than 250 years. Readers will learn how individuals working alone or organized into societies of various size have steadfastly campaigned to stop war, end the arms race, eliminate the underlying causes of war, and defend the civil liberties of Americans when wartime nationalism most threatens them.


  • Provides an unrivaled complete description of peacemaking efforts in the United States that leads readers to consider how future wars might be prevented
  • Draws on the expertise of more than 130 scholarly experts to examine the entirety of American history, from the colonial era to modern times
  • Reveals the multiple religious and secular motivations of peace seekers in the United States
  • Examines how war and those who oppose war have been portrayed in popular media over the centuries
Mitchell K. Hall, PhD, is professor of history at Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI. He is a past president of the Peace History Society and former editor of the journal Peace & Change. Hall received his doctorate from the University of Kentucky. His previous publications include ABC-CLIO's Vietnam War Era: People and Perspectives as well as The Vietnam War: Revised 2nd Edition; Crossroads: American Popular Culture and the Vietnam Generation; and Because of Their Faith: CALCAV and Religious Opposition to the Vietnam War.


"This compact two-volume set would be an excellent addition to an academic library without requiring vast amounts of shelf space. The overall emphasis of the work as well as the topics covered provides an excellent beginning to an often-overlooked section of U.S. history. Students of American wars will also find this information invaluable as it provides a glimpse of the context and conversations in which these events occurred, how they began, and how they were ultimately brought to a close. Individual entries are very well written, each with ample references to other topics facilitating a deeper dive into lesser-known historical topics. This work would also be useful for those studying the arts or social sciences because many of its entries detail artist and cultural movements and the events that inspired them."—ARBA, June 1, 2018
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